Quack

Ducklings using plant-based transportation

On a visit to a wonderful place in Dublin called Airfield (I invite you to do a search to find out all about Airfield), I passed the lily pond and saw a sign which had been put up on behalf of the ducks. The sign said, “please do not feed us bread scraps. It upsets our stomachs.” My grandchildren asked for an explanation. So, I took the opportunity to give them a little lesson in ecology, compassion for animals, and the annoying habit of humans to imagine that we are the centre of the universe. You can see that I am a fun granny. With all of this in mind, I wrote them a poem. The places mentioned in the poem are local, and well-known to the children.

BIRDS ARE PEOPLE TOO

A swan came down from Bushy park

to shop on Rathmines Road,

she’d heard, you see, about a place

that sold delicious food,

she parked her car quite skilfully

along a yellow line

that matched her beak

and small webbed feet

then stepping out

peering about

she said

my stars,

how absolutely marvellous

these painted roads

and bright red lights

that start and stop the motor cars

just then she saw a uniform, and

‘Scuse me miss you can’t stop here’

said not unkindly

though in his mind he

thought it odd

to see a bird driving a jeep

but Gardai training nowadays

prevented him from saying so

and as he watched

the town hall clock struck

and off the number fifteen bus

there hopped a duck

dressed to the nines

designer glasses, Hermes scarf

and Gucci golden chain mail purse

that glistered as she moved

then swan and duckling

quackly waddling  

loudly clucking

to the store

for bread,

organic, brown and gluten free

and Garda Murphy

heard them say

we’ll have to do this every day

until the folk around these parts

stop feeding us

their bleached white crusts

and old jam tarts

and scraps of stuff, but hopefully

a day will come when they will see

that birds are people too.

CGK

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